Today we will be talking about Chyawanprash, a popular Ayurvedic supplement (Ayurveda: a traditional Indian system of health and medical science). It is a mixture of plants, fruits and spices, used in India due to it's properties, which increase our defences and therefore improve our general health. Chayawanprash is an ancient supplement, although perhaps not as well known as ginseng, royal jelly or echinacea, it has great biological value. The texture of Chyawanprash is similar to marmalade which has led to many people referring to it as the "Ayurvedic marmalade". As we have previously stated, this is not a new product in India; in fact there are texts that suggest it was already in use some 6000 years ago. This supplement was named after it's creator Chyawana, who attributed his longevity to the addition of this supplement to his diet.
Chyawanprash: what benefits does it offer?
- Vitamin C — a water soluble vitamin. Benefits normal growth and development. A constant supply of Vitamin C is needed in the diet, as part of it is eliminated through urine.
- Polyphenols — compounds which are present in natural plant foods and have antioxidant properties.
- Antioxidants — these help protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals, meaning they control the speed with which the organism ages.
If you like sweet flavours, with a slightly acid touch, you will enjoy the taste of Chyawanprash.
When making Chyawanprash, many condiments, elements nd nutrients are involved, which you can find more about here. Some of the most popularly known ingredients are cinnamon, cardamom, ashwagandha, honey, turmeric and sesame oil.
Chyawanprash: should you buy it or make your own?
As you will have seen on the page we previously linked, the list of ingredients is as extensive as it is hard to find. For this reason, and also because it is very hard to make (a large amount of ingredients that need to be in exactly the right proportions) we suggest you buy this product instead of making your own. By doing some research you will realize it's almost impossible to make Chyawanprash at home. There are many online forums that discuss making Chyawanprash but the sheer volume of ingredients makes it a very complicated process.
Chyawanprash: The studies.
Many studies have been carried out about Chyawanprash. It is true that these studies have been mainly carried out on animals, rather than people, but it is also the case that only a small amount of studies are equal to six thousand years of human consumption in a country as densely populated as India. The properties that these studies have found in chyawanprash are:
Increases our defenses
Thanks to it's many components, Chyawanprash provides our immune system with beneficial properties (according to a study published by The Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. Said study claims that Chyawanprash helps avoid infection as it improves the way in which the immune system reacts to exterior pathogens (visuses or bacteria are the most common). It could be said that improving the defenses of the organism is the most well known and most appreciated property of this supplement.
Strengthens the respiratory system
Several studies involving humans have shown that certain properties of Chyawanprash can improve lung health. One of these studies, published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine about the effects of this supplement in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, reported a significant reduction of the symptoms. Another study, published by investigators at Kurukshetra University (India) concluded that Chyawanprash could almost completely get rid of smoker's cough and increase the weight and apetite of patients.
Increased energy levels in children
As well as the increase in defenses, children aged between 5 and 12 years will experience an increase of energy if they consume Chyawanprash, according to a 2017 study published by Ancient Science of Life.
Benefits for sunlight exposure
The Journal of Integrative Medicine believes that, as it is rich in antioxidants, Chyawanprash can prevent skin damage caused by exposure to ultra violet radiation through sunlight.
Effects on memory
This is another effect which is linked to a high consumption of antioxidants. It seems that Chywanprash could be an ally in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases as it is capable of creating better neuron connectivitydue to the antiageing properties of it's ingredients.
In a study of humans undertaken by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences it was observed that Chyawanprash could have a beneficial effect on people with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).
How to take Chyawanprash
- Take one spoonful daily, either on it's own or dissolved into warm milk.
- Do not administer to children under the age of three.
- Several studies have concluded that Chaywanprash is suitable for diabetics, but we would always recommend consulting with your doctor first.